RBF News                       Q1 2019

Welcome to RBF News - our quarterly summary of the important tax, business, and financial news and opinion to help you see the bigger picture... and make more informed decisions.

Economic Snapshot
By one measure - jobs - the U.S. economy continued its robust performance last month despite a partial government shutdown and the fading impact of corporate tax cuts. The private sector added 304,000 jobs in January, with employers adding to payrolls for the 100th consecutive month.

But the shutdown appeared to weigh heavily on both consumer and business sentiment. The closely-watched University of Michigan consumer sentiment index dropped eight points to 90.7 in January, the lowest consumer sentiment has been since before the 2016 election. 

And the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months also dropped, according to the Conference Board, from 18.1 percent to 16.0 percent. The same survey showed that those expecting business conditions will worsen increased from 10.6 percent to 14.8 percent.

As of this writing, the possibility of a second shutdown looms over the economy's future direction, as Congress and the Trump administration struggle to resolve the continuing standoff over border security legislation.
Taxes and Tax Planning
Business owners get IRS rules on 20 percent tax break  - The Internal Revenue Service has issued the final word on how business owners can claim one of the biggest perks in the 2017 Republican tax overhaul. The regulations  can cut business tax bills by up to one-fifth, reports Bloomberg.com, but also govern what many say is one of the most complex changes in last year's tax law reform.
Contractors benefit under new tax reform rules  (via RBF Knowledge Center) - Ever since Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, much of the tax-savings attention has centered on a lower tax rate for C-corporations. But as RBF partner Vincenzo Botta explains, other business structures can get a bite at the TCJA tax reduction apple, too.
8 things that could increase your chances of being audited  - While your chance of facing a full-blown IRS audit is actually quite slim, it might be a combination of factors that earns you an audit. BusinessInsider.com details eight potential triggers that will increase your chances of being audited.
Managing Your Business
close-up of happy parents holding their newborn baby
10 facts Mass. employers need to know about paid family/medical leave - The newly-published regulations represent the "rules of the road" that employers and workers will follow as the law takes effect in July. Here are ten facts employers need to know, compiled by the Associated Industries of Mass., about paid family and medical leave.
Nuances of the new revenue standard for life science companies (via RBF Knowledge Center) - Many early-stage life science companies have no product revenue, so the quick assumption is "I don't have any sales, so I don't have to worry about this updated standard yet." While true in some cases, RBF partner Jack Malley explains a few scenarios where it is not. 

Bringing the outside executive into the family business (via RBF Knowledge Center) - Having the courage to go outside the family as a way to expand the company's circle of competence can be a worthy strategy. RBF guest author George P. Bukuras, Esq., CPA explains why non-family executives might see the chance to join a family-run business so alluring, and how families can make the entry process smoother for both sides. 
Around the Office
In December, RBF partner Sal Falzone, his wife Liz, RBF client Darryl Settles and his wife Lisa Owens and RBF firm administrator Beatrice Casseus attended the Living Legends Gala in Boston. Sponsored annually by the Museum of African American History, the gala honored former U.S. Attorney General  Eric H. Holder, Jr. and 'Black-ish' star Anthony Anderson for their contributions to the advancement of equality, education and justice for all.

Congratulations to RBF partner Vincenzo Botta for passing the Series 65 license exam. Successful completion of this rigorous exam leads to the coveted Investment Advisor Representative (IAR) designation, and qualifies Vinny to provide RBF clients with investing and financial advice.

RBF partner Bill Rucci presented a seminar about federal tax reform law to members of the Mass. chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors on February 14 at the RBF training center. Titled "How the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 Will Impact Your Construction Firm," the session focused on the financial and reporting impact of new tax provisions on construction-related companies.

Bill Rucci also was interviewed recently by the podcast "Accounting Influencers" for his views on the public accounting sector's health and where he sees the profession going in the future. The 30-minute episode will be available in late-February on the podcast's website.

In RBF client news, Greg Erman, President and CEO of RBF client EmpiraMed, Inc. was named to the Leadership Council of the National Small Business Association. Greg joins other advocates from across the country as they work to promote the interests of entrepreneurs to policymakers in Washington, D.C. More details here.

And congratulations to RBF client CAMP4 Therapeutics for securing its research collaboration deal with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The collaboration brings together CAMP4's expertise in rapidly pinpointing signaling targets that control the expression of genes with Alnylam's expertise in RNAi therapeutics development to advance novel rare disease drug candidates. More details here

In early December, RBF hosted the Russell Bedford International North American Managing Partners conference. The meeting focused on the network's growth strategy for North America. A detailed recap can be found here

RBF's Closely Held/Family Business Group sponsored a presentation on "Conflict and its Mediation in the Growing Family Business" in January.  George P. Bukuras, Esq., CPA and Louis B. Turchetta, Ed. D. of Milestone Business Advisors were the featured presenters.

The Raffoni Group held a Partner Program Meeting and Social in late January.  RBF partner Paul Bardaro and RBF tax principal Lenny Smith represented RBF at the gathering.
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